Illamasqua are a brand that just cannot win. They built a fan base thanks to their willingness to break the rules when it comes to make-up and encourage their customers to try things outside of their comfort zone, which gave them a reputation as a ground-breaking brand in colours, textures and formulations. Purveyors of the strong eye and colour-pop lip, the possible looks you can create with a few choice products from their impressive line are endless, and I think you would struggle to find a more comprehensive colour collection so widely available.
Then came the Glamore collection, a range of bright, satin-finish lipsticks and shattered polishes that all sat around the pink end of the colour spectrum. There was outrage at such a commercial launch from a brand that had built its fan base on the anti-commercial, yet I felt the launch was an Illamasqua take on pink rather than a commercial take on pink; it contained bright, statement shades that were not your everyday colours, yet they were generally appealing which allowed the brand to introduce themselves to a wider audience that might have previously avoided them, for fear they might not find a colour they could comfortably wear. The Glamore collection brought more followers and fans to Illamasqua, who would then keep an open mind and an ear to the ground around the times of new launches to see if any of the new arrivals would appeal. How very dare Illamasqua do something so commercially sensible!
Consequently, every new Illamasqua collection will likely excite either the fans who want the old school, “out there” shades, or the fans who like the Glamore pinks. Considering my job, I can get pretty excited about either of these types of releases, but I will say that I struggle to say no to a Glamore pink. The To Be Alive Collection is the latest arrival from Illamasqua, and it contains something to appeal to all fans of the brand. It’s an interesting edit, with the main focus being Illamasqua’s attempt to reclaim the shade blue as something other than a colour you’d only revisit for 80’s fancy dress. The collection contains four items, starting with the Spirit Palette which is a quad of blue shades, three powder and one cream, that can be sheered down or built-up to create various takes on blue smokey eyes. The
scariest most interesting product from the launch is the Vendetta shade of their Glamore lipstick, which is a brilliant, electric blue. The rebellious 17 year old in me is screaming to get this on my lips, whilst the actual 31 year old me is worrying what the mums at Baby Bugs would say. If you have the courage, wear this and wear it loud and proud.
The next two products are the safer members of the To Be Alive launch, starting with the lipgloss in Iridesce, which is a clear shade shot through with blue shimmer. It’s actually the ideal investment for adding a little edge to your existing lipstick collection as it’ll give a lot of shades a new lease of life, especially as the formula is so pretty. Finally the new shade of nail varnish, Prismatic, is a beautiful light blue with shimmer that looks almost holographic at times. It’s very wearable whilst still being something a bit different for Summer, so I can see it being a very popular shade. The Illamasqua To Be Alive collection launches on 1st May 2015.